Mickey Mouse Saw Our Son

Sometimes a Disney story isn’t really about Disney. This is one of those stories.

My wife and I go to Disney parks more than most. Obviously we don’t go nearly as often as our love of the parks would suggest, especially compared to other fans with a similar level of devotion, but we go far more than the average married couple in their 30’s who don’t live near the parks. So inevitably when I announce that we’re taking another trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World I’m always met with the question of “Why?” People are frequently confused as to why we’d choose to fly or drive across the country to visit a crowded, hot, expensive tourist destination we’ve visited many times before. I’ve grown increasingly tired of this question, mostly because people use it to launch into a diatribe against everything Disney, but also because I’ve never felt like I have an answer that satisfactorily explains the depth of feeling I have towards the Disney parks. The cliché of “they make me feel like a kid again” doesn’t hold true for me at all, because the parks and Disney in general mean far more to me as an adult than it ever did as a child (despite loving it all my life). I try to talk up the concept of Disney’s idealism and optimism, but people tend to just dismiss that sort of thing. I try to tell them all of the reasons I want to work for Disney. I point out that the Disney parks offer an experience that is completely unlike anything anywhere else on the planet, the quality of the theming, the high caliber of Disney’s cast members, the level of care that goes into every detail, but most people are only interested in how fast the roller coasters are or whether they serve beer. But after this most recent trip to Disneyland a few weeks ago, I finally find myself with a story that does justice to my lifelong devotion to Disney.

As many readers may know, our son Luke was stillborn back in March. Continue reading

Friday Favorites: Favorite Montage – The Great Movie Ride

Welcome to “Friday Favorites” which highlight some of my favorite movie-related things.

I haven’t done a Friday Favorite in a while, mostly because no one read them, but I was in the mood to revive it for at least today.  Whenever the Oscars roll around, I always find myself thinking back to go the great films throughout 100 years of movie history.  And whenever I find myself contemplating the power and history of film, I always turn to one, 3 minute montage that completely embodies film for me.  Take a look:

Continue reading

What is Tomorrowland?

Tomorrowland Logo

At the end of my D23 movie news roundup from yesterday I mentioned Tomorrowland.  I didn’t want to go into the film there because I feel like it needs a bit more explanation, especially considering how little we still know of the film.  You have to go back to last year for the earliest reports of the film.  Brad Bird, who wrote and directed The Incredibles and Ratatouille for Disney/Pixar was announced as the director for a new film for Disney, bumping his rumored project with Pixar about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  People immediately began speculating that Bird was returning to Disney for a sequel to The Incredibles (something, incidentally, that needs to happen).

That wasn’t the case, however, as the title for his new film was revealed to be 1952.   Continue reading

Review: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – from the heart of an obsessive fan

Hogwarts at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I recently visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, FL for the first time.  I’d been to Islands of Adventure many many times before, but the WWoHP was still under construction the last time I was there.  I had read a lot about the WWoHP and I was very curious as to what my reaction would be, considering I’m a hugely obsessive Harry Potter fan.  Unlike some other fans, however, I’ve never shown much of an outward expression of this obsession.

I don’t own boatloads of Harry Potter merchandise, I’ve never dressed as a wizard or drawn a scar on my forehead, I’ve never been to a Wizard Rock concert or to a convention.  Other than the ring I wear every day that has the sign of the Deathly Hallows on it, my HP obsession has always been inward.  I have a deeply personal connection to the books, and while I’ve occasionally written about it, it’s not something I share or talk about much.  Of all of the things I love, it’s the one that I have the most trouble finding the right words to express the depth of my feelings, and I’ve so often been antagonized for it that I’ve mostly given up.  (I’ve written about it a bit on my blog, but I’ve never been very satisfied with how it turned out.)

It was with a mixture of excitement and nerves, therefore, that I first entered The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Continue reading